Thanks to policies that have damaged our economy's underpinnings, caused significant hardship to everyone but the rich, and triggered a mad dash for assets that provide some measure of downside protection, we now have what might be described as the "Bernanke Take" (as opposed to the "Bernanke Put") -- that is, a dramatic increase in crimes involving precious metals and other valuables, as the Los Angeles Times reports in "Soaring Gold Prices Trigger Jewelry Robberies, Police Warnings":
As the precious metal has nearly doubled in value from two years ago, gold merchants have boosted security amid a series of brazen store robberies. Police are urging owners of gold jewelry to be discreet about wearing it.
That stunning rise in the price of gold is having a ripple effect: A rash of jewelry store robberies, street muggings and home burglaries. Now, merchants are stepping up security and police are warning everyone against flaunting their bling.
When Capt. Mark Olvera, who runs the LAPD's Newton Division, spotted a beefy man with a gold chain around his neck the other day, he worried the guy might become a victim. "He looked like he could take care of himself," Olvera said. "But that's a couple thousand dollars ... on him."
So far this year, gold chains have been snatched from the necks of at least 110 people during street robberies in Olvera's South Los Angeles division. His officers are circulating fliers and showing up at churches and community centers to warn residents to stop wearing gold in public, or at least to tuck it under their clothes.
"It's easy money. It's easy to get, and it's easy to get that gold fenced. You see all the ads, 'We buy gold,'" Olvera said. "They sell it, melt it down and there's no regulation."
Nice one, Ben. Can't wait to see what you have planned for us next.